Create your own personal sensory garden

A sensory garden isn't one that just looks nice. It appeals to all five of the senses: sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell. Find out how you can create the perfect sensory garden yourself.

Create your own personal sensory garden

Sensory gardens are beneficial to people with poor vision, disabilities, or long-term conditions, as they can be enjoyed in several ways. Here's how to create a sensory garden that people will love visiting.

Consider accessibility

The garden should have paths that are wheelchair accessible and suited to people who have limited sensory or physical functions. There should be no sharp edges or toxic substances. Having boundaries like fences screened by shrubs and hedges, makes it more appealing to people with dementia. Consider adding shady spots such as trees or pergolas covered with wisteria. These are ideal for people to sit and read or rest, so seating is vital.

Choose the right plants

When planning the layout of a sensory garden, consider the seasons so there is always something interesting to see, smell or touch on the grounds. To add winter interest, use holly as a decorative item.

In all seasons, colour is important. Foliage and flowers both add colour and visual interest. When planting spring bulbs, scented daffodils will enhance the olfactory aspect of the sensory garden. Because you want visitors to reach out and touch the plants, avoid very thorny ones, which are known to cause skin sensitivities. Instead, look for leaves with interesting textures that can be touched without damaging them too much.

Address the senses of touch and taste alike by adding edible plants such as nasturtium, mint and salad vegetables. Soft fruit is another ideal plant for this type of garden.

Add inviting finishing touches

Wind chimes and fountains add sound that will enhance the appeal of a sensory garden. Another way of adding sound is to attract birds with nesting boxes and tables. Other wildlife may be attracted through the use of bug boxes. Lights make a garden enjoyable in the evening and add a different perspective to the grounds. Don't be shy to ask around and survey friends and family for their tips. The more ideas you have to make you sensory garden appealing to others, the more likely it is to become something people can enjoy for years to come.

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